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February 4, 2018 - Today we were in Santa Ana for the Asian Lunar New Year festivities at the Bowers Museum.  The Bowers is celebrating the Year of the Dog with music, dance and the art of Asia featuring both lion and dragon dances.

We saw the Lion Dance, but the Dragon Dance was performed later in the day.

We also saw their latest exhibit, "Empress Dowager Cixi: Selections from the Summer Palace."  Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese empress dowager and regent who effectively controlled the Chinese government in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years from 1861 until her death in 1908.  All of the treasures displayed are from the Summer Palace in Beijing.

These ceramic platform shoes were worn to keep feet both warm and dry.

The butterfly pattern isn't repeated here, each one is uniquely hand embroidered.

Traditionally, red envelopes or red packets are passed out during the Chinese New Year's celebrations, from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors.  It is also common for adults or young couples to give these red packets to children.  Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred.  Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals.  The number eight is considered lucky since it is pronounced the same as the word for "wealth," and $8.00 is commonly found in the red envelopes of the United States.  The number four is the worst because its homophone is "death."

Before the museum we enjoyed a breakfast at Norm's.  We ate on the light side today with waffles and eggs for Judy and French toast and eggs for me.  The restaurant was very busy today.

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